The Kwara State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Children’s Fund on Nutrition Marching Fund through the payment of 100,000 USD as its counterpart fund, in its efforts to eradicate  malnutrition in the state.

The Commissioner for Planning and Economic Development,  Mallam Lafia Kora-Sabi, who made the disclosure to Arewa PUNCH at the sideline of a gathering at the Ministry’s conference room, noted that the state government entered into the bilateral  agreement with UNICEF with the aim of nipping in the bud, the malnutrition menace.

To further underscore the state government’s resolve in this direction, a statement signed by Daibu Abubakar, the Press Secretary in the ministry, on Tuesday, stated that the leadership of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is committed to improving the livelihood of the vulnerable groups in the state.

It added that the Nutrition Marching Fund is geared towards rewriting the ugly story of stunted children who  are incapable of contributing meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the state.

AbdulRazaq appreciated UNICEF for its dedicated support to the state, especially with regards to children’s welfare, assuring that  malnutrition  indices will significantly dwindle as efforts are in top gear to implement the nutrition intervention programmes in the state.

The Permanent  Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Umar Jaja also hailed the UNICEF for the constant support in children intervention schemes, even as he equally  thanked the  other development partners like Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria supporting the state government over the years.

Jaja reassured  that the government would work even harder in combatting the malnutrition menace in the state.

In his contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Isiaka Olokooba, commended UNICEF for its unwavering support to the state through the fight against malnutrition.

Olokooba noted that the Agricultural sector has started a programme in which the nutritional value of the food items being supplied to the children are examined in order to improve their well-being, even as he assured the  UNICEF that much would have been achieved in the fight against malnutrition when next the team visits the state.

The United Nations Children’s Fund  Country Representative, Mrs. Christiane Munduate commended the state government for showing the political will to eradicate the malnutrition menace in the state through the payment of the UNICEF Counterpart Fund.

She noted that the state’s commitment to the Nutrition Marching Fund will accelerate the fight against malnutrition through the availability of funds, adding that malnutrition has greatly impaired the physical and mental growth of many children, which has in turn made them incapable of contributing positively to the economic development of the state.

Munduate further commended the state government on several medical interventions in Primary Health Care sectors, especially the Vitamin A fortification of children under the age of five years, assuring that the UNICEF will continue to support the Kwara State Government.